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Lend your voice to the cast of the Avery Cates series

Ever think you know exactly how a character in a novel should sound? Think you could put on a good performance of playing that character yourself?

Well Jeff Somers has set up a competition in which you have the chance to do just that. For the official website of his next novel, The Terminal State (UK/ US), Jeff is creating four mini video clips to represent four different characters from his series. He’s already provided some superb images to depict the nature of each character, and mini excerpts from the book have been supplied as scripts.

All that’s missing is you – the reading public – to put on your best acting voices and provide voiceovers for the videos. Whichever voice clip that Jeff feels best represents each character will be used on the final site. Visit this site to hear some examples that Jeff has provided himself, such as the one below. There, you’ll also find more information on how you can get creative and start sending in your own voiceover submissions. 


New titles from Kelley Armstrong

Following Kelley Armstrong’s very successful trip to the UK, during which she had fans from as far as Germany queuing up to meet her, we thought we’d remind you just how busy she’s been on the writing front.

Last month saw the release of The Reckoning (UK /ANZ), the third book in Kelley’s Darkest Powers young adult series. This is definitely one to look out for, considering that the second book in this series was a No. 1 New York Times children’s bestseller, and that Charlaine Harris claimed about the series that ‘there’s never a slow moment in their journey or a false line in Armstrong’s writing’. Read the rest of this entry »


What? Three covers at once?! Yes, we’re doing another 3-in-3-months release starting this October, and the series is awesome. The Spirit Thief, The Spirit Rebellion, and The Spirit Eater are the first three books in the Legend of Eli Monpress series by Rachel Aaron, and be prepared, this story is seriously habit-forming. And we’re super excited to be giving you a big dose of Eli Monpress and his misfit crew all at once. Read the rest of this entry »

Author post

Crossing the Pond…Finally

I made my first trip to the UK at the end of March.  Before the volcanic ash problems, but during the British Airways strike.  Is it always so hard to get into (and out of) the UK?  I hope not, because I really would like to return! Read the rest of this entry »

Author post

Dancing On The Cutting Edge

It’s nice to be at the cutting edge. Well, of my own progress as an SF writer, at least. One of the great strengths of the SF field is the way concepts and tropes are in constant flux, being shared and tweaked, refurbed and upgraded, modded and galvanised, rivetted for the steampunk milieu, or even just given go-faster stripes. Of course, some carping cynics will say that this is also a major weakness since it encourages lazy writing and a lack of speculative rigour, and I have to say that there’s a lot to that.

For my own part I must admit culpability in employing certain well-known, off-the-shelf notions like AIs, FTL drives, colony worlds, ancient aliens and so forth. But I do like to think that I have contributed something new with my own take on hyperspace. This is where hyperspace (as well as being a contiguous plenum which permits FTL travel) consists of levels upon levels upon deeper levels, each one being the compacted remains of an entire universe, piled one on top of another, sedimentary layers of dead universes that descend into the primal depths of reality.
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Winners! Spectrum Annual #17!

I know all of you are scifi/fantasy geeks (or else why are you here, really), but not all of you are art geeks as well, so you may not have heard of Spectrum, the annual competition for contemporary scifi/fantasy/horror art…but to those of us you might classify as “geek artists”, inclusion in the Spectrum annual is a big deal. So I am thrilled to announce that 3 of our books made the annual:

Black Ships by Jo Graham (painting by John Jude Palencar)

Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler (digital illustration by Sharon Tancredi)

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin (digital illustration by Cliff Nielsen)

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Author post

Can a video game be art?

There’s an interesting post by Roger Ebert about how video games can never be art over here. I generally find Ebert to be pretty dependable when it comes to a lot of artistic matters, and back when he was in his prime it often felt he had no peer. But there are a lot of reasons to doubt his position on this: he seems to think video games haven’t evolved past 1989, and are still mostly flashing lights with attack moves and points, and he apparently doesn’t hold much interest in the medium as a whole. I’m not sensing a lot of willingness in his argument to explore the potential and possibilities of what he’s attacking.

More to the point, I think that any attempt to label any medium (or substance, or tool) as validating or invalidating its product as art is flawed from the start. Art’s an inherently subjective and personal thing. We’re all hearing different frequencies. While one person might listen to a stool scraping across a linoleum floor and hear only an irritating whine, another might hear a lonely moan that’s reminiscent of a car’s brakes on a night street. Read the rest of this entry »

Author post

Developing the Story

So I was reading entries on some website or other a while ago, writing advice, you know – all these detailed posts about developing the world and the characters. The advice concerned making out these detailed character sketches – not just notes about hair color and love interests and pets, but all this stuff about past and present conflicts and insecurities and on and on. Hmm, I said. Should I be doing that? Read the rest of this entry »


This lovely Monday we have an awesome cover for a book I really enjoyed reading and working on, The Fallen Blade, by Jon Courtenay Grimwood. The fabulous Larry Rostant provided the very atmospheric imagery, and I had obvious fun playing with the type. With both the image and the type, we wanted to clearly evoke renaissance Venice, but portray the strong main character and dark adventure of the story.

The Fallen Blade is the best of both worlds: an alternative historic fiction set in a renaissance Venice at the height of her power, populated by supernatural creatures and backstabbing political intrigue, AND a fast-moving fantasy adventure tale of vampires, werewolves, assassins, and pirates. Jon Courtenay Grimwood does such a fantastic job of describing Venice that you feel a really strong sense of geography and atmosphere. I was just in Venice in January and I was really impressed with how true the historical and geographical details felt, and it makes following the characters and story weaved around this framework all the more immediate. I can’t wait to see where the story is going to go in the next book.

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Author post


I’ve written seven published novels.  Even though my novels are short by modern standards, that’s still a lot of pages, a lot of characters, a lot of worlds and ideas. Inevitably, it leads people to remark on my creativity.  “How do you think of this stuff?” they’ll ask, usually incredulous and in awe of my amazing talents.  My response usually goes something like this:

“Avert your eyes, mortal.  For I am a blessed demigod with muses whispering sweetly in my ears.”  Then I usually throw a smoke bomb, ninja-style, and vanish, leaving the questioners to ponder the imponderable.  Sometimes, if I’m in the proper mood, I’ll leave a haiku poem folded in a paper crane and maybe an autographed photo emblazoned with the wise words, keep your feet on the ground, but keep reaching for the stars! I’m cool like that. Read the rest of this entry »

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